Perry Maintains Lead as Play Called

By Sports NetworkMarch 19, 2005, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Kenny Perry remained on top of the leaderboard at the Bay Hill Invitational Saturday, but the third round was suspended for darkness with several groups needing to complete the round.
Forty players will return to Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge at 8:00 a.m. ET Sunday morning to finish the third round. The players will go out in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees in the final round to get in by Sunday evening.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods tees up another ball after knocking his first out of bounds at the ninth hole.
Perry is 3 under in his third round and has the lead at 9 under par. He has completed 11 holes and is one ahead of playing partner Stephen Ames, who is also 3 under on his round.
Vijay Singh birdied the 13th hole in near darkness to get to 7 under par for the championship. He is tied for third place with K.J. Choi, who, like Singh, is 3 under on his round.
Singh, who was spectacular early in the third round with three straight birdies from the second, can reclaim the No. 1 ranking in the world Sunday only two weeks after losing it to Tiger Woods. He needs to finish no lower than tied for third with one player, while Woods has to finish outside the top 20.
Both appear to be well on their respective ways.
Woods was even on his round when he reached the par-5 sixth in two. He three-putted for par, then ran an 18-foot birdie putt 5 feet past the hole at seven. Woods missed the comeback putt to fall to 2 under for the tournament.
Things got worse for the four-time Bay Hill champion. His drive at the ninth landed out of bounds left and Woods walked off that hole with a double bogey.
When the horn sounded, Woods was 3 over on his round and tied for 33rd at even par.
Singh was not the only player with a chance to unseat Woods atop the world rankings. Ernie Els, who came to Bay Hill after back-to-back wins on the European Tour, had a chance, but fell off the pace in the second round when he collected a triple bogey and double bogey in the span of four holes.
The Big Easy is 3 under in the third round, but tied for 42nd at plus-1.
The event is trying to catch up from Thursday's opening round as only three hours of golf were played. Several golfers played 36 holes on Friday to get through two rounds, but others, like Perry, Ames, Woods and Els, played all 18 of their second round Saturday morning.
Perry did not look like he lost any steam from a second-round 68. In the third round, Perry found fairways and hit solid approaches.
At the first hole, Perry knocked his approach to 6 feet and converted the birdie putt. He had another short birdie putt at two, but slid the putt by on the right side. Perry atoned for the miscue one hole later as he sank a 6-footer for birdie.
Perry parred the next three holes, then pulled a 6-iron at the par-3 seventh. His tee ball stopped 7 feet from the hole and he rolled it in to go to minus-9.
But Ames, who won last year's Western Open, did not go away. He sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the second, then matched Perry at seven with a 7-footer of his own.
At the eighth, Ames drained a 15-foot birdie putt to get within one of Perry.
But Ames will be gunning for Perry on Sunday. Perry has not won since his remarkable run in the summer of 2003 when he took three titles in a four-start span.
He came in 30th on the money list last year, and has a top-10 finish in 2005, a seventh-place at the FBR Open in Phoenix.
'I played okay last year. It will never compare to my '03 year when I was winning, I won three out of four weeks,' Perry said. 'I guess to me I was trying to compare to that year.'
Fred Couples, who won here in 1992, is 4 under in his round and alone in fifth place at 5 under par. He has played 16 holes.
Aaron Baddeley and Duffy Waldorf are the clubhouse leaders at 4-under-par 212. Both shot 4-under 68s on Saturday and are joined at 4 under by Jeff Maggert and Sergio Garcia, who are through 14 and 13 holes, respectively.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen is in the process of major turnaround. He shot a 6-over 78 in the opening round, but has been 9 under par since.
Goosen shot a third-round, 4-under 68 and is tied with reigning Players Champions Adam Scott, who posted a 5-under 67 in the third round. The duo has finished 54 holes at 3-under-par 213 and several players, including Charles Howell III, Mark Calcavecchia and Joe Ogilvie are at 3 under on the course.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Bay Hill Invitational
  • Full Coverage - Bay Hill Invitational
  • Getty Images

    McCarthy wins Tour Championship by 4

    By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2018, 2:14 am

    ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Denny McCarthy won the season-ending Tour Championship on Sunday to earn fully exempt PGA Tour status and a spot in the Players Championship.

    McCarthy closed with a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory over Lucas Glover at Atlantic Beach Country Club. The 25-year-old former Virginia player earned $180,000 to top the 25 PGA Tour card-earners with $255,793 in the four-event Tour Finals.

    ''It's been quite a journey this year,'' McCarthy said. ''The PGA Tour was tough to start out the year. I stuck through it and got my game. I raised my level and have been playing some really good golf. Just feels incredible to finish off these Finals. So much work behind the scenes that nobody really sees.''

    McCarthy finished at 23-under 261.

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, closed with a 69. He made $108,000 to finish seventh with $125,212 in the series for the top 75 players from the regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200.

    Jim Knous earned the 25th and final card from the four-event money list with $41,931, edging Justin Lower by $500. Knous made a 5-foot par save on the final hole for a 71 that left him tied for 57th. Lower missed an 8-footer for birdie, settling for a 69 and a tie for 21st.

    ''It was a brutal day emotionally,'' Knous said. ''I wasn't quite sure how much my performance would affect the overall outcome. It kind of just depended on what everybody else did. That's pretty terrifying. So I really just kind of did my best to stay calm and inside I was really freaking out and just super psyched that at the end of the day finished right there on No. 25.''

    The top-25 finishers on the regular-season money list competed against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. Sungjae Im topped the list to earn the No. 1 priority spot of the 50 total cards.

    Getty Images

    LaCava pushed Woods to work on bunker game

    By Rex HoggardSeptember 24, 2018, 1:52 am

    ATLANTA – Last week as Tiger Woods prepared to play the season finale at East Lake he sent a text message to his caddie Joey LaCava that simply asked, what do I need to do to get better?

    Although when it comes to Woods his proficiency is always relative, but LaCava didn’t pull any punches, and as the duo completed the final round on Sunday at the Tour Championship with a bunker shot to 7 feet at the last the two traded knowing smiles.

    “We had a talk last week about his bunker game and I said, ‘I’m glad you kept that bunker game stuff in mind,’” LaCava said. “I told him he was an average bunker player and he worked at it last week. There were only two bunker shots he didn’t get up-and-down, I don’t count the last one on 18. He recognized that after two days. He was like, ‘What do you know, I’m 100 percent from the bunkers and I’m in the lead after two days.”

    Final FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    For the week, Woods got up-and-down from East Lake’s bunkers seven out of nine times and cruised to a two-stroke victory for his first PGA Tour title since 2013. That’s a dramatic improvement over his season average of 49 percent (100th on Tour).

    “His bunker game was very average coming into this week,” LaCava said. “I said you’ve got to work on your bunker game. If you had a decent bunker game like the Tiger of old you would have won [the BMW Championship].”

    Getty Images

    For Woods, is this only the beginning?

    By Damon HackSeptember 24, 2018, 1:42 am

    If this is Tiger Woods nine months into a comeback, wait until he actually shakes the rust off.

    This was supposed to be the year he kicked the tires, to see how his body held up after all those knives digging into his back.

    To see if a short game could truly be rescued from chunks and skulls.

    To see if a 42-year-old living legend could outfox the kids.

    On the final breath of the PGA Tour season, it was Tiger Woods who took ours away.

    Playing alongside Rory McIlroy on Sunday at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club – and one group behind the current World No. 1 and eventual FedEx Cup champion Justin Rose – Woods bludgeoned the field and kneecapped Father Time. 

    It was Dean Smith and the Four Corners offense.  Emmitt Smith moving the chains. Nolan Ryan mowing them down.

    And all of a sudden you wonder if Phil Mickelson wishes he’d made alternate Thanksgiving plans.

    Even if everybody saw a win coming, it was something else to actually see it happen, to see the man in the red shirt reach another gear just one more time.

    Win No. 80 reminded us, as Roger Maltbie once said of Woods when he came back from knee surgery in 2009: “A lot of people can play the fiddle. Only one guy is Itzhak Perlman.”

    It wasn’t long ago that Tiger Woods seemed headed toward a disheartening final chapter as a broken man with a broken body.

    Final FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    He would host a couple of tournaments, do some great charity work, shout instructions into a walkie talkie at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, and call it a career.

    There would be no Nicklaus 1986 Masters moment, no Hogan Mystique at Merion.

    He would leave competitive golf as perhaps both the greatest to ever play the game and its greatest cautionary tale.

    Willie Mays with the New York Mets. Muhammad Ali taking punishment from Larry Holmes.

    But then Brad Faxon and Rickie Fowler started whispering at the end of 2017 that Tiger was healthy and hitting the ball hard. 

    There was that hold-your-breath opening tee shot at the Hero World Challenge, a bullet that flew the left bunker and bounded into the fairway.

    Rollercoaster rides at Tampa and Bay Hill, backward steps at Augusta and Shinnecock, forward leaps at The Open and the PGA.

    He switched putters and driver shafts (and shirts, oh my!) and seemed at times tantalizingly close and maddeningly far.

    That he even decided to try to put his body and game back together was one of the all-time Hail Marys in golf.

    Why go through all of that rehab again?

    Why go through the scrutiny of having your current game measured against your untouchable prime?

    Because you’re Tiger Woods, is why, because you’ve had way more wonderful days on the golf course than poor ones, despite five winless years on the PGA Tour.

    Suddenly, Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour wins is in jeopardy and Jack Nicklaus, holder of a record of 18 major championships, is at the very least paying attention.

    Woods has put the golf world on notice.

    It won’t be long until everyone starts thinking about the 2019 major schedule (and you’d better believe that Tiger already is).

    The Masters, where he has four green jackets and seven other Top 5 finishes. The PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, where he won in 2002 by 3. The United States Open at Pebble Beach, where he won in 2000 by 15.

    The Open at Royal Portrush, where his savvy and guile will be a strong 15th club.

    But that’s a talk for a later date.

    Tiger is clearly still getting his sea legs back.

    Getty Images

    Nonfactor McIlroy mum after lackluster 74

    By Mercer BaggsSeptember 24, 2018, 1:04 am

    ATLANTA – Rory McIlroy didn’t have anything to say to the media after the final round of the Tour Championship, and that’s understandable.

    McIlroy began the final round at East Lake three shots behind Tiger Woods. He finished six back.

    McIlroy closed in 4-over 74 to tie for seventh place.

    In their matchup, Woods birdied the first hole to go four in front, and when McIlroy bogeyed the par-4 fourth, he was five in arrears. McIlroy went on to make three more bogeys, one double bogey and just two birdies.

    Final FedExCup standings

    Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

    Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    McIlroy was never a factor on Sunday and ultimately finished tied for 13th in the FedExCup standings.

    The two rivals, Woods and McIlroy, shared plenty of conversations while walking down the fairways. On the 18th hole, Woods said McIlroy told him the scene was like the 1980 U.S. Open when people were shouting, “Jack’s back!”

    “I said, ‘Yeah, I just don’t have the tight pants and the hair,’” Woods joked. “But it was all good.”

    It’s now off to Paris for the upcoming Ryder Cup, where Woods and McIlroy will again be foes. It will be McIlroy’s fifth consecutive appearance in the biennial matches, while Woods is making his first since 2012.